Q&A: Aggie Collective on advocacy

Elaijah Gibbs-Jones, Managing Editor

The Aggie Collective is a group of N.C. A&T students who are radicalizing for political education for not only current Aggies, but for college students in the state. The spearhead of Aggie Collective sat down with the A&T Register for an exclusive interview on the group’s initiatives, projects and proposed solutions to education issues.


What do you think the group has done that has had the most impact?


AC: Even though the university publicity behind sexual assault has died down versus what it was at this point last year, I do think that it was an important moment. After the duct taping situation [of Dowdy Administration building] I remember the next day the chancellor called an emergency meeting with all the head people and SGA folks who were there all day flushing out ideas, initiatives and plans to progress the university in that way. Some of those are still being worked on and implemented, so I think that was really important. It was the most effective as far as tangible results.


What issues should students pay more attention to?


AC: On a campus mileage level one thing I think is really important is surveillance and police culture. Surveillance meaning the way that university entities look over organizations. A lot of students [current and previous] express grievances about treatment under OSA [Office of Student Activities]. When they try to program on their own and do their own thing, there’s a lot of gateways to be held there. Maybe students being aware of that and seeing if we can form any alternatives, so students can do the things they want to do for students. 


I think that on a community awareness level, an issue that could be talked about especially here in Greensboro is the housing crisis. We have enough housing for people, but they just don’t have access to it, and that’s because of bureaucracy and all of the things that go into localized government here. On a community level that is a big issue we could all be paying attention to, and could all be organizing around. Students here experience houselessness.


Is there anything in particular the group is working on? 


AC: Right now we are working on electoral suspension, which is basically getting classes cancelled on primary election days, super Tuesdays and one day during the early voting period so students are able to vote without being penalized for missing class. As important as it is to be in class, it’s also important to participate in elections. It will funnel on a state level to make election day a holiday, so folks can get off of work to participate in elections as well. 


In a perfect world, how would N.C. A&T operate?


AC: In a perfect, perfect world the whole establishment of university politics would be gone, so it wouldn’t be a problem for students to get what they want. But, in a world that we live in right now with tangible goals, I think it would look like the university giving students more autonomy to speak and organize and make things happen, and work with the university to make those things happen more quickly.